‘Tis the season for celebrating … and that can mean our schedules – and healthy habits – can get turned upside down. QC fitness expert Beth Davis warns us not to let parties take the place of workouts or treats take the place of healthy meals!
By Beth Davis, CPT, Quad City Fitness Blogger and Personal Trainer
According to a New York Times article, holiday weight gain between Thanksgiving and Christmas can range from 1-5 pounds. For some people that is weight on top of weight they already need to lose.
Before the season gets underway, make a plan of attack! Here are a few steps to help you devise a plan to get you though the holidays healthy and more fit them in years past.
1. Plan your work and work your plan!
Invitations to holiday parties, family dinners and work celebrations will be on your calendar. Why not put your specific workouts on the calendar? Schedule your time to make sure you get at least 3 workouts per week. They can be a run, a visit to the gym or an at-home workout that I will provide at the end of this article. Block out the time and check it off just like anything else on your to-do list. You’ll feel better about yourself having a piece of pie or some eggnog if you worked out first!
2. Go the extra mile to get in an extra mile!
Here are a few easy – and free – ways to get that extra mile in:
- Instead of hunting for the perfect parking spot to holiday shop, park and walk!
- Spend extra time in the mall and do a few laps to add some steps.
- Download an app that will keep track of your daily miles for you on your phone. The free app Pacer counts your steps while your phone is in your pocket or purse. Check it throughout the day and it will help you challenge yourself to take an extra trip in and down the stairs.
- Download a workout app like the free Nike Training Club. It offers 15-45 minute workouts you can do at home with or without weights.
3. Plan for party food
Work and family parties are the perfect setting to overeat. Don’t fall into the trap of overeating and then repenting the next day by starving yourself or skipping meals! Plan to eat protein before you leave for a party and have plenty of water. This will reduce the amount of snacking you do while socializing. At dinners, swap one fattening food for another. For example, skip the green bean casserole to have a small slice of pumpkin pie. Whatever you do, stay on track with your normal healthy meals! That way you won’t be walking around in a depleted state and be more likely to overindulge!
4. Add a pre- or post-dinner activity
This Thanksgiving and Christmas, take pre or post dinner walks. Get the family bundled up and check out holiday lights or walk a few laps around the neighborhood. One of my favorite holiday memories as a kid was my Dad just taking the family for a walk through his old stomping grounds and telling family stories. Make it a race, a walk or a trip down memory lane.
5. Do this quick home workout
For a quick workout at home, try the following circuit to help burn those calories whether you are at home or traveling for the holidays. All you need is your body weight and some floor space! Let’s move during the holidays!
Set your time for 15 minutes and repeat the circuit AMRAP (As many rounds as possible)
- 25 jumping jacks
- 25 body weight squats
- 25 walking lunges
- 10 burpees
- 10 pushups
- 10 bicycle crunches